DeSclafani excelling against tough road opponents
SAN FRANCISCO — Veteran right-hander Jake Peavy will seek to extend two impressive streaks when the San Francisco Giants open a week-long homestand Monday night against the Cincinnati Reds.
The National League West leader and NL Central last-place team met in May at Cincinnati, with the Giants winning two of three.
The Reds’ lone win of the series came against Peavy, the 35-year-old veteran of four teams — the San Diego Padres, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox and now the Giants.
The loss was the first of his career against the Reds after seven wins.
Peavy (5-8, 5.15 ERA) has never lost a home game against Cincinnati, going 4-0 while allowing only 37 hits in 52 innings. His ERA over those seven starts (three no-decisions) is 1.90.
Peavy has been remarkably resilient since joining the Giants in a trade from the Red Sox for pitchers Edwin Escobar and Heath Hembree in 2014. His 19-18 record tells only half the story.
Six of those losses came against teams Peavy faced again later in the same season. He won all six of the rematches, allowing only 13 runs in 39 2/3 innings (2.95 ERA) after having gotten lit up for 21 runs in 28 2/3 innings (6.59) in the first meeting.
He will be looking to extend that run to seven straight against the Reds, who roughed up Peavy for eight hits and seven runs in six innings in a 7-4 Cincinnati win on May 4.
The Reds will send their top pitcher, right-hander Anthony DeSclafani, to oppose Peavy in the series opener.
After two no-decisions to start his season, DeSclafani (5-0, 2.50 ERA) has won five of his past six starts, including road triumphs against the Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs.
In his only previous start against the Giants, DeSclafani gave up six runs on six hits in three innings during a 9-8 loss on May 17, 2015.
Seven days before the non-waiver trade deadline, the series brings together teams that have swapped players twice in the past 53 weeks.
Left fielder Adam Duvall, the NL’s fifth-leading home run hitter with 23, went to the Reds leading up to the 2015 trade deadline in a deal that allowed the Giants to import a veteran pitcher, Mike Leake, for their unsuccessful run at defending their World Series championship.
Leake since moved on to the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent.
The Giants went to Cincinnati shopping for a bat a month later and came away with slugging outfielder Marlon Byrd. The Reds received minor league pitcher Stephen Johnson in the swap.
Like Leake, Byrd left the Giants as a free agent after the 2015 season and now plays for the Cleveland Indians.
With star right fielder Hunter Pence having missed almost two months with a hamstring injury, the Giants once again find themselves in the market for outfield help. Reds right fielder Jay Bruce has been mentioned as a possibility.
Bruce hit a three-run, ninth-inning homer Sunday in a 9-8 home loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Afterward, he was asked if he sensed it might be his last homer as a Red in the Great American Ball Park.
"It could have been. We’ll see," he said. "I obviously know what’s going on (with trade rumors), but I can’t control any of that. Just have to play ball and try and help this team win games."
The Giants are returning home off a 1-7 road trip that opened the season’s second half. They batted just .125 (9-for-72) with runners in scoring position during the trip, which ended with a 5-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday.
"We’re all just slumping at the same time," said first baseman Brandon Belt, has just two hits in 33 at-bats (.061) since the All-Star break.